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Union Budget 2019: Reactions From Industry Experts

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented his maiden Budget in the Lok Sabha today. Here are the views from industry experts on the budget 2019.

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Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget in the parliament. He gave the highest-ever tax reduction to the middle-class salaried people. Individual taxpayers having annual income up to 5 lakhs will get a full tax rebate. Individuals with gross income up to Rs 6.5 lakh will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.

"This will provide the benefit of Rs 18,500 to 3 crore middle-class taxpayers self-employed, senior citizens," he said, adding the number of beneficiaries will go up for those who have made investments in mediclaim and pension.

No tax will be deducted on interest earned on bank and post office deposits of up to Rs 40,000 annually, up from Rs 10,000 currently.

The Budget also proposed to exempt tax on notional rent for unsold housing units for two years.

Goyal also proposed that benefit of rollover of capital tax gains be increased from investment in one residential house to that in two residential houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains of up to Rs 2 crore.


However, it can be exercised once in a lifetime, he added.

 The Income Tax department will move towards faceless assessment and verification of returns, Goyal said Friday.

Standard deduction has been raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 which will benefit three crore, salaried individuals.

Here are the industry expert views on the Union Budget 2019.

Tanvee Gupta Jain, Chief India Economist, Ubs Securities India, Mumbai
"The fiscal deficit target for this year was largely in line with market expectations but the fiscal deficit target at 3.4 percent for full year 2020 was a little disappointing.

Populism remained the focus ahead of elections. The budget provided a consumption boost to farmers and middle-class households. However, it will further delay the much needed investment cycle recovery."

Anubhuti Sahay, Senior Economist, Standard Chartered Bank, Mumbai
"The fiscal deficit targets for FY19 as well as FY20 are far better than market expectations, though there is a slight slippage... It is likely to bring a lot of relief to the market, which was excessively worried about the massive fiscal slippage.

Having said that, what we would like to see are its revenue projections and it is possible that the projections might be ambitious at this particular juncture. Maybe once we get the numbers going forward there can be some worries again around the fiscal deficit, whether it can be adhered to or not.

The budget was focused on farmers and the middle class that should help consumption and probably support the domestic growth."

Shilan Shah, Senior India Economist, Capital Economics, Singapore
"Pretty much in line with what was expected. The one thing that has surprised is the extent of election-related sweeteners that have been rolled out.

So, we thought there would be less space to announce big giveaways, but the government has actually managed to pull it off, at least on paper.

I think ultimately, their spending plans look very unfeasible to me, so I wouldn't be surprised to see spending get cut later in the year.

It looks pretty difficult to achieve but it seems to be based on quite ambitious revenue projections.

The biggest stops that we have seen are the giveaways for farmers especially."

Swetank Shekhar, Founder & CSO, E3 Retail
“Digitise India and National Artificial Intelligence Portal are very well timed and thought through initiatives. Retailing in India is well poised to jump on to AI-based tech platforms and hence this is a very good news for Retail Technology. Tax reliefs announced for the middle-class tax payers, SMEs, job creation and income augmentation for farmers will increase consumer spends driving growth, giving impetus to the retailing world. The government's continued focus on development and technology gives hope of India leading the world growth story."

Garima Kapoor, Economist And Vice-President, Elara Capital, Mumbai
"The budget is clearly farm-focused, with elections on the mind. Farmers, age-old, unorganised sector, MSME and middle class - they're all finding favour, with the agricultural sector getting the biggest support.

The 750 billion rupees in the Centre's budget for the farmers' scheme is a huge number, so we need to watch out for where the funding is coming from. If the scheme is implemented well, you can expect consumption to be supported next year.

The catch here is, even if the BJP does not come back to power in May, the new government will also implement this scheme because no government will want to look anti-poor or anti-farmer. The government will have to find fresh resources to the tune of 750 billion rupees.

Although the equity markets will be happy because of the consumption boost, the bond market may not be, as we need to see the intricacies of how much is getting funded through what route and what deficit numbers.

If the government has provided enough consumption boost, then RBI would want to take a cautious stance and would not undertake a rate cut."

Rupa Rege Nitsure, Group Chief Economist, L&T Finance Holdings, Mumbai
"It's more of performance reporting and aspirations than any big-ticket changes. This was expected as it is an interim Budget valid for a few months. It needs to be stated in an unambiguous fashion that the credit for inflation control and AQR primarily goes to the RBI."

Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, Hdfc Bank, Delhi
"This is on expected lines. There is a slight slip in fiscal deficit. The new income support scheme is tepid, in terms of the actual numbers. It should not lead to a blowout in the fiscal deficit if it indeed is part of the budget when it is finally announced in full form. The only issue here is that there is no substitution away from indirect benefits in the form of subsidies to a direct transfer. This is on top of some benefits they are receiving. If this is the model going forward, let's see what fiscal implications it might have. This is a top-up on an existing regime and that is something that worries me, but not at this stage."

Rajan Malhotra CEO & Founder Otodato 
"Overall a good budget. Government’s vision 2030 of reducing Petroleum imports by promoting electric vehicles and energy storage devices is laudable and indicates a transformation in the automotive industry in on the cards. The automotive value added services would also need evolve in accordance to the emerging trends and telematics data would play the most important role in the growth of our automotive industry and its ecosystem partners."

Ashok Varma, Leader - Social sector, PwC India
"Pradhan Mantri Shramyogi Man Dhan Yojana seems to be an extension of the existing Atal Pension Yojana(APY). While APY was meant for workers in the unorganized sector, the new scheme includes marginal wage earners from organised sector as well. Another difference is the upper age limit of 60 years in the new scheme as against 40 years in APY. It is a welcome move and would further provide social security to a larger number of marginal wage earners in the country. Being contributory and designed in line with NPS(National pension scheme), this also makes economic sense.”

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder & CEO PayNearby

“The 'Thank you note' to Taxpayers, made us feel officially proud for the first time. The focus of government on rural and startup is clearly visible and this is a long-term impact work. We are glad that we are a Startup working towards helping accomplish critical activities which are part of the vision of government. Certain modules of startup growth hack and customer retention have been applied to reward good behaviour and we stand validated by the government for our business models. 

Farmer support income through aadhaar is suggestive of the fact that the construction has begun on the Base (Aadhaar). True grass root level of marginalised beneficiaries have been identified amidst migrants, nomads, small farmers, small taxpayers, small businesses and retiring small salary earners. The budget has been well received, benefits are immense and the future is bright. The environment feels like Diwali in February.”

Ankur Dhawan- Chief Investment Officer- PropTiger.com
“Government has given sufficient reasons for real estate to rejoice in this budget. Though there were many direct announcements for sector such as extension of Section 80IBA for 1 year, no interest on notional rent till 2 years of completion of project, reinvestment of capital gain in 2 houses rather than one and no tax on notional rent for 2 self-occupied houses, yet announcement of doubling of NIL income tax slab from 2.5 Lakh to 5 Lakhs will have much stronger impact on real estate sales especially for affordable housing buyers. Not only government is giving credit link subsidy scheme for these buyers but also leaving more money in hand to pay EMIs through increased tax savings.”

Suraj Malik,  Partner -Transaction Tax/ Tax & Regulatory Services, BDO in India  
"An interim budget by an interim FM still with a clear focus on long term fundamentals along with targeted proposals crucial to address the current economic, political and social situation. The interim budget focused on inclusive development and tax concessions. Policy announcements for agriculture & allied activities, rural communities and welfare of the workmen is outlining the Government’s vision statement for the next term."

Prakash Tulsiani, Executive Director & CEO – CFS & ICD, Allcargo Logistics Ltd
“Logistics will play a key role in propelling India to become a USD 5 trillion economy over the next 5 years. The interim budget has broadly outlined the government’s vision to improve the sectorial competencies of Indian logistics and empower supply chain capabilities. A 21 percent allocation for the North Eastern region of the country to Rs. 58,166 crore has the potential to uncork the untapped logistical efficiencies of the region. It will also boost connectivity-driven initiatives to bring the region within the broader national logistics framework to bolster economic growth and development within NE and create employment generation opportunities. The budget provides a wider blueprint of the government’s resolve to continue on the path of the logistics sector empowerment with pro-industry measures like Ease of Doing Business and expediting inter-state freight movement through simplified e-way bills. Emphasis on inland water development is a welcome move. The tax sops will result in more disposable income. This will lead to more discretionary spending, boosting the movement of goods and benefiting the overall logistics sector.”


Nimish Gupta, MD South Asia, RICS

"The sanctity and prudence generated in the overall economy, on the back of continuous reforms over the last three years was expected to deliver a business environment that was conducive, opening up the economy for large hearted schemes.  As RICS, we expect that the Real Estate and Construction sector, which suffered the maximum brunt of some of these reforms, is now expected to grow significantly in light of the changes that these schemes and reforms intended. RERA and the Benami transactions act have already resulted in wider semblance in the market on the back of increased transparency."


Sunil Gupta, Founder & Director, ExportersIndia.com

"Sunil Gupta, Founder & Director, ExportersIndia.com, "With the belief that India is poised to be a 5 trillion economy, the Budget 2019 aims at building the social and physical infra to ease living. The income support for farmers, increase in MSP, 2% interest subvention for fisheries and animal husbandry, schemes for unorganized workers have brightened the rural economy and agriculture sector. In Government projects, the decision to source 25% material from SMEs, 3% from only women-owned SMEs is a case of lead by example which with other following suits would usher more opportunities to the doorstep of SMEs. Quarterly return for businesses less than 5 crore, the promise of further exemptions in GST, the GEM (Govt E-Marketplace) platform where MSMEs can showcase and sell their products are all steps that have been done with the aim is to empower the MSME sector. Interest subvention for SME for loans up to Rs 1 crore is yet another positive. The path set to tackling unemployment by becoming the manufacturing hub of the world is another promising note. These measures along with digitization and automation will help the SMEs and online businesses become a bigger force to reckon."


L C Singh, Vice Chairman, Nihilent Limited
“The impetus provided by the government in propagating the advancements in Artificial Intelligence for building nation’s assets is indeed heartening to know. The plan to set up a National Centre for AI augers well for positioning India at the centre of global innovations.”  

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA
"The 2% interest subvention for MSME is definitely a great thought along with the easing of loans through psbloansunder59minutes scheme. Together they will give a boost to the industry which contributes to 69% employment in the country. This will also boost the adjunct services industry that caters to MSME sectors like advertising, market research, training, and public relations which in turn will also have a positive cascade on the services sector."


Amit Modi, Director ABA corp and VP CREDAI Western UP
"In term of real estate we believe that benefits under Sec 80(i)BA being extended for one more year, for all housing projects approved till end of 2019-2020, and benefit of rollover of capital tax gains to be increased from investment in one residential house to that in two residential houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains up to Rs 2 crore; which can be exercised once in a lifetime are the biggest take away from this year’s budget, in addition for existing home buyers income tax relief on Notional Rent from unsold houses which has now been extended to 2 years, along with  increase in TDS threshold on rental income raised from Rs 1,80,000 to Rs 2,40,000. In general, we would like to congratulate the Finance Minister for a wholesome balanced budget, we believe that the move to increase the income tax slab to Rs 5,00,000 is a very positive move. This is a helpful step towards increasing disposable income for a first-time buyer planning to purchase a real estate asset. We also look forward to the outcome of the Group of Ministers examining how prospective house buyers can benefit under GST, which we believe should not only benefit them on paper but practically as well.

At the same time we would have preferred a Single Window clearance for all Real Estate Projects just like the ones extended for Movie Industry, and increase in exemption on interest on a home loan to at least Rs 5,00,000 per annum."


Sunil Gupta, MD and CEO, Avis India
"The statements given by the government in today's budget highlight the intention of the government to promote road transportation by building new highways. Building 27kms of highways per day will make India the fastest highway developer in the world. The growth in the network of highways will lead to the creation of direct jobs and contribute to tourism. The Sagar Mala project will improve port linkages and drive the export of cars, critical for Make in India. We are supportive of Vision 2030 mentioned by Mr.Goyal in the context of electric vehicles (EVs). The Budget was largely silent on concrete incentives for EVs but we hope that in the next FAME policy, the Government will spell out incentives for all stakeholders in the EV ecosystem – manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers and operators.  Promoting the manufacture and use of electric vehicles is a rare multi-benefit initiative, reducing the carbon footprint of transportation, air pollution, and crude imports. Also, the abolition of customs duty on components for assembly of lithium batteries for EVs in India and promotion of green-field EV battery capacity in India will drive Make in India."  


Surajit Das, Co-founder and CEO, Routematic 
"Not much was talked on startups in the budget this year. The 2% interest subvention on MSME loans will help to get access to capital. Areas, where we wanted more allocation, were higher education to improve talent pool and some innovative thinking around reducing capital gains tax for VCs which could make India the preferred investment destination for VCs."


Ajit Kumar, Founder & CEO, RupeeCircle

“The proposal to digitize 1 lakh villages over the course of the next 5 years will benefit the Fintech companies to further drive financial inclusion to the Indian masses. The FM’s announcement to provide a full tax rebate to individuals with income up to Rs 5 lakhs will benefit over 3 crore middle-class families including the employees of many startups. We look forward to the National Artificial Intelligence Portal because now the innovative Fintech segment can tap into new and emerging technologies and use AI to the betterment of the society.”


Amit Parmar, Senior Vice President, Vayana Network, GST Platform

“The Budget affirms the amendments pronounced by GST Council in its earlier meetings viz. (i) increase in exemption limit from 20 lakhs to 40 lakhs (subject to bill passage in state legislatures to effect this) (ii) increase in threshold limit for quarterly filing to 5 Crore. These measures have been in the works since Q1 FY18 towards Simplification of Returns. A key agenda yet to be crystallised is measured for the housing market. We believe that a decision on the same may be deferred until General Elections conclude. A number of measures are being worked upon to avoid GST evasion. To ensure sustained tax buoyancy, GST Council must accelerate invoice matching, a key provision for GST compliance”.


Killol Pandya, Head - Fixed Income, Essel Mutual Fund

"The budget is pro-rural and middle class and oriented at economic development. From the fiscal deficit angle, the borrowing is higher than expected and the revenue sources might be seen as ambitious. Concerns over fiscal deficit pressure may cause bond markets to remain cautious." 


Viral Berawala, Essel Mutual Fund CIO

"The budget is pro-growth with large sections of the population viz small farmers and Middle class being the primary beneficiaries. The fiscal slippage number is tolerable, although the net borrowing number is higher than market expectation."

Pankaj Jain, MD at Realistic Realtors

"Income Tax rebate upto 5 lac per annum is a clear indicator of bringing more people under taxpayers category happily and comfortably. Money circulation through bank and economy will have a major positive impact due to this tax rebate. Housing under PMAY and increase of Infrastructure development budget also very positive step towards real estate affordability and accessibility because these two initiatives would enable more people buying their homes in the city as well as outskirts. GST rate on real estate is still a pending but a very critical issue to be addressed. This is another very important matter for easing the real estate sector and encouraging the completion of under construction projects, we look forward to Govt immediate and positive decision on this. Demonetisation, as expected, is showing its positive effect for the Indian economy and with this new Income Tax ruling, a huge number of population will be encouraged towards banking transactions."

Divya Jain, CEO, and Founder, Safeducate 
“The Government's push to the unorganized sector is a welcome step for the logistics vertical, which is characterized by a large number of unorganized players; and the pension scheme for the 4.2 crore workers in the numerous industries announced, in a way will help in streamlining the workforce and will address the issue of giving a decent life to them post their working age. With the scheme of modernizing the villages, and going digital will help in Skilling the youths in such villages, making them self-reliant and finding progressive careers for themselves while contributing to the household incomes as well. In most of the villages, women are still not allowed to go out of their homes - Digital villages will help to reach those women and skill them. Even though through various schemes such as PM Mudra Yojana, Government have been trying to educate women and work towards the cause of women empowerment, but still a lot of women have been deprived of it - Digital villages will likely ensure such benefits reach them faster now."

Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO, and Founder, NextEducation India 
“India needs to integrate itself with the global big bang of technology, and the government has taken a welcome step towards it by declaring a nationwide programme on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Union Budget 2019. This programme involves the establishment of a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence along with other centres of excellence, and the development of a national AI portal for the advancement of 9 high-priority areas including education. This will help us catch up with the leading nations such as the US and China, who are using AI and data sciences to personalising education. Apart from this, the Digital India scheme, with more than 3 lakh common service centres, is aimed at bringing digital infrastructure to every nook and corner of the country. The government intends to build 1 lakh digital villages with an internet connection and digital devices in the next few years. This, in collaboration with EdTech companies like us, will help realise the national vision of ‘Education for All’.The National Education Mission has been allocated just 38,572 crores. However, we were expecting a better cut towards the education sector."

Rajnish Kumar, CTO & co-founder, travel tech platform ixigo 
"The new national scheme announced by the government on Artificial intelligence is a futuristic scheme which will promote the use of technology and digitisation. The government’s efforts in providing the necessary AI support required by startups, further emphasises the role that new technologies will play in the development of the economy. Efforts to establish 1 lakh digital villages is also a positive step towards strengthening digital penetration in rural India and will  significantly increase the adoption of digital platforms across the masses."


Deepak Sahni, Founder & CEO Healthians

"The interim budget has taken into account the mammoth need for healthcare services for a growing nation. I commend the government’s effort to make healthcare affordable and accessible till the last mile. 

Further, grants proposed for the small and medium enterprises are reassuring that the government is determined to encourage the startup ecosystem in the country.

However, the budget was silent on critical issues being faced by the industry such as angel tax, an incorporation of which would have helped the startup ecosystem at large."


Deepak Maheshwari, Director - Government Affairs, India, Symantec

"The Budget acknowledges the pivotal role of digital technology in India’s evolution to a five-trillion dollar economy over the next five years. Budget proposals such as those on artificial intelligence, one lakh digital villages and the thrust on RFID usage will not only fuel entrepreneurship, but also unleash enormous job opportunities.

In addition, with the continued momentum on digitizing transactions using Aadhaar and the need for real-time monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency of various government schemes, the critical role of cybersecurity resilience and data protection towards fostering and inculcating trust cannot be over-emphasized. 

It would be desirable that the forthcoming full budget later this year mandates setting aside 10 percent of the technology layout of every government project exclusively towards cyber security, as per the recommendations of the NASSCOM Task Force. The ensuing consultations on data protection legislation should result in a comprehensive, forward-looking, world-class enactment that enables and empowers people and businesses to use technology with confidence."


Surendra Hiranandani, Founder & Director, House of Hiranandani

"It is an inclusive budget that focused on strengthening the agricultural and rural economy, healthcare, infrastructure, social inclusion, digital and employment generation in the country. It also gave a substantial boost to the residential housing sector. 

The rise in individual tax exemption up to Rs 5 lakh will impact consumer sentiments positively. The tax savings that the salaried class stands to benefit will lead to higher consumption including investments into residential real estate. The proposal to raise the limit TDS threshold to Rs 40,000 currently will also provide relief to taxpayers who invest in bank deposits and various post office schemes. 

Amongst the notable announcements for the real estate sector, the decision to eliminate the tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house is a welcome move. This will prep up demand for second homes substantially. 

Relaxation of notional rent on unsold inventory to 2 years will also ease the burden on developers, who now have more time to sell their projects. Continued thrust on affordable housing through tax benefits on projects allows for expansion of this class of the asset even further. The benefit of exemption of capital gains up to Rs 2 crore for investment in two houses will increase sales in the residential sector. 

The FM has brought about substantial improvements in both personal income and capital gains. This is extremely positive as compared to the slow incremental reforms of the past. 

The decision to grant significant capital for rural development and infrastructure is a step in the right direction. The impressive development of roads, infrastructure over the last five years has been significant and if the same momentum is continued then the increased connectivity will have a positive rub off on all segments of real estate including commercial and industrial developments.

To sum it up we definitely believe that this budget has set the tone for future growth of the economy."


Vikram Shah, Chairman & Managing Director, Shalby Limited (Shalby Hospitals, Ahmedabad)

“This is a commendable Budget with all the right intentions. It has several announcements that can be a gamechanger for the Indian economy and society in the years ahead. Three major provisions have been announced – direct income support to 12 crore farmers, pension scheme for poor workers in the unorganized sector, and full income tax rebate till an income of Rs 5 lakhs. These, along with the prevailing low inflation rate, will increase liquidity with the middle and poorer sections of the society in both rural and urban areas. It will leave people with more money to spend on basic necessities of life such as food and healthcare. The ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission, 98% sanitation coverage in rural areas, and schemes like Ayushman Bharat and free LPG connections are positively impacting healthcare parameters of the society. It is heartening that the Government has declared a “Healthy India” as part of its future vision for the country. Its stated goal of working towards a distress-free healthcare system and a functional and comprehensive wellness system for all Indians is welcome. I, however, feel that the Government should have taken some positive steps towards increasing the public healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP from beyond a mere 1%, and announced some incentives to enable the spread of modern healthcare system and hospitals beyond the cities to smaller towns and villages. The Government should have also reduced import duty on implants to make joint replacements affordable to the masses.”


Rituparna Chakraborty, President, Indian Staffing Federation

“Whilst the Indian Staffing Federation had several expectations from this year’s budget -  we did not see specific actions that would improve ease of doing business, employability and formal employment – our asks around UEN, Paperless, Presenceless, Cashless initiatives for Shram Suvidha Portal,  reduction of financial burden on the employers who now have to pay for 26 weeks of maternity benefits, employees having the choice and flexibility on salary and reduction of GST on outsourced services for higher education  – have not been addressed. Having said this, what is heartening is to see the government take a long-term view of growth and outline its vision for 2030, vide its 10 developmental themes. We also think the government’s focus on simplifying GST and tax administration,  investment commitment for improving rural economy, internal trade, infrastructure, and the MSME sector will be good for the Indian economy. This augurs well from an employment perspective – and we hope this helps in the creation of more formal jobs – which will not only aid the growth of staffing industry in India but also spur the overall economic progress.”


Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India

"We laud the budget presented by Mr. Piyush Goel today and believe it is a populist budget overall. Mr. Piyush Goel announced 9 top dimensions to this budget and Make in India and Digital India were central to it. Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment is the Fourth Dimension of the vision. This will be built upon the Make in India approach to developing grass-roots level clusters, structures, and mechanisms encompassing the MSMEs, village industries and start-ups spread in every nook and corner of the country. India is now on the way to becoming a global manufacturing hub in various sectors including automobiles and electronics, defence and medical devices."


Parag Agarwal, Founder & CMD, Janajal

“As expected, this is a positive Budget with several announcements for the social and economic welfare of the country in the long term, much in line with the Government’s intention of a “New India” by 2022. It is heartening to see safe drinking water to all Indians as part of the Government’s plan by 2030. Water ATMs have a big role to play and can help achieve this vision much sooner. Safe water made accessible to people in a decentralised format such as water ATMs can have a force multiplier effect on the Government’s intentions through good health and wellness besides job creation and social entrepreneurship.”


Divya Jain, CEO, and Founder, Safeducate 

“The Government's push to the unorganized sector is a welcome step for the logistics vertical, which is characterized by a large number of unorganized players; and the pension scheme for the 4.2 crore workers in the numerous industries announced, in a way will help in streamlining the workforce and will address the issue of giving a decent life to them post their working age. With the scheme of modernizing the villages, and going digital will help in Skilling the youths in such villages, making them self-reliant and finding progressive careers for themselves while contributing to the household incomes as well. In most of the villages, women are still not allowed to go out of their homes - Digital villages will help to reach those women and skill them. Even though through various schemes such as PM Mudra Yojana, Government has been trying to educate women and work towards the cause of women empowerment, but still a lot of women have been deprived of it - Digital villages will likely ensure such benefits reach them faster now."


Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO, and Founder, NextEducation India Pvt. Ltd.
“India needs to integrate itself with the global big bang of technology, and the government has taken a welcome step towards it by declaring a nationwide programme on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Union Budget 2019. This programme involves the establishment of a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence along with other centres of excellence, and the development of a national AI portal for the advancement of 9 high-priority areas including education. This will help us catch up with the leading nations such as the US and China, who are using AI and data sciences to personalising education. Apart from this, the Digital India scheme, with more than 3 lakh common service centres, is aimed at bringing digital infrastructure to every nook and corner of the country. The government intends to build 1 lakh digital villages with an internet connection and digital devices in the next few years. This, in collaboration with EdTech companies like us, will help realise the national vision of ‘Education for All’.The National Education Mission has been allocated just 38,572 crores. However, we were expecting a better cut towards the education sector."


Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd.

"This is a positive feel good budget which was expected given the 2019 Elections. It is extremely positive for the affordable housing sector and reinforced the Governments continuing the commitment to this important sector. Enhancing the ease of living and consolidating the real estate sector will further provide people with comprehensive social security and strengthen the government's vision to make India a 10 trillion $ economy."


Amit B Wadhwani, Co-founder, Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Pvt Ltd.

“The direct and indirect benefits of the Interim Budget 2019 are likely to bring a profound change in the demand and supply economics of the real estate industry. Since affordable housing is the need of the hour, extending the benefits under  Section 80-IBA of the Income Tax Act for one more year will surely lead to a rise in end-use consumption of homes. Also, with inflation at an all-time low and the announcements on income tax rebate schemes will provide impetus to home buying sentiment in the country. Secondly, an extension on the period of exemption from levy of tax on notional rent, on unsold inventory from one year to two years, is a welcome move for the builder community. This budget ahead of the election looks like a balanced and inclusive one with thrusting growth and enhancing consumption at its centre.”


Vijay Kuppa, Co-Founder, Orowealth

"The Budget was mainly focused on the welfare of the middle class and farmers.

There were some significant direct tax reforms announced such as a full tax rebate for a taxable income up to INR 5 lacs and other provisions like a higher TDS threshold for interest on saving products, standard deduction upto INR 50000, no tax on notional rent from 2nd house, capital gain exemption extended to 2 houses etc.

The above measures would increase overall disposable income and should boost the consumption and investment story in India. We expect the increase in savings to get channelized into financial markets (via SIPs, small savings schemes etc.) and a higher spend on consumer durables, FMCG, automobiles, farm equipment etc. leading to higher growth, financial literacy and penetration etc.

Introduction of a Mega pension plan providing INR 3000 per month for unorganized workers will bring a large population under the ambit of pension security with minimal contribution. 

So overall it was a budget to benefit the masses (mainly 3 crore salaried, 10 crore workers and 12 crore small and marginal farmers) with an eye on the upcoming elections."


Navneet Munot, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer, SBI Mutual Fund

"2019-20 February budget is staged against the backdrop of compulsions of pre-election spending but a challenging revenue situation, primarily emanating from the required GST buoyancy. Deflation in food prices and mounting agriculture debt has highlighted the accentuating farm distress. Further, the thrust on infrastructure spending over the last few years (particularly on road, railways, housing, urban development) had just started to bear some result. Against this backdrop, the government had eventually sided with a marginal glide path on fiscal consolidation. Fiscal slippage in 2018-19 was limited to 10bps and revised deficit estimate is pegged at 3.4% of GDP. FY20 fiscal deficit is also pegged at 3.4% of GDP. 

As expected, the budget kept its focus on rural, small and medium enterprises and middle-class households. While this is an interim budget and the actual realization of the visions (such as the changes in direct taxes in favour of the middle-class) will have to wait till the roll-out of the full budget post the general election, it does set a narrative. Some of the rural-oriented schemes such as PM Kissan Samman Nidhi and Mega pension scheme are expected to be rolled out in FY19 itself and have seen the provision in FY19 revised estimates figure. 

The earlier years of the current national government were focussed on addressing the bottle-necks of growth. Consequently, we saw the taxation reforms, banking sector reform, real-estate reforms, e-auction of natural resources, reduced timelines in obtaining the business clearances, bringing the parallel economy into the mainstream, a drive towards implementation of Aadhar and financial inclusion. These reforms yielded visible gains in terms of formalization, digitization, financial inclusion, and lower inflation. Yet, for a variety of reasons, the reforms are yet to translate into higher income gains. The rising inequality and the unique nature of a large unorganized sector in the Indian economy make it imperative for a government to not only worry about the overall growth and reforms but the distributional aspects of growth i.e. a more equitable growth. India is flirting with its own version of Universal basic income and social sector benefits. Some of the measures such as health insurance scheme, guaranteed income for small and marginal farmers, and mega pension schemes work towards providing a social security net and enhance the demographic potential of the economy. 

Coming to the markets, the thrust towards income enhancement is positive for the consumption-oriented sectors. The bond market will have to grapple with the resultant higher market borrowing. The bond market is faced with a mix of push and pulls factors. While the extremely muted headline inflation, stable external account dynamics and dovish bias in key global central banks augur well for the Indian debt market, the high gross market borrowing and the large emphasis on off-budget borrowing requirement would prevent a material rally in the yield. From an equity market perspective, budget would be seen as a positive event given the continued focus on income enhancing measures. Market’s focus will shift back to global cues, political developments, and earnings trajectory." 


Prashant Tripathy, MD & CEO, Max Life Insurance

"At the onset, the interim budget has delivered something to almost all constituencies of the Indian population. There is a clear focus to ensure that the financial health of the farmers and the middle class is taken into consideration. The proposal to increase the limit of income tax-free personal annual income to INR 5 Lakh and the marginal increase in standard deduction will provide more money in the hands of Indian households.

We see scope for the life insurance sector to channelize this to savings and protection instruments and contribute to building a secure nation.

At a macro-economic level, we see the proposed fiscal deficit of 3.4% as practical and growth-oriented.

Another important takeaway from the budget is the continued focus on the Digital India programme, that will give insurers an opportunity to drive the digital wave and enhance digital engagement with the end consumer and reach out to a new set of customers."


Ishan Gupta, MD Udacity India

"The budget has clearly recognised the importance of technology in the growth of the country by announcing the development of the National Artificial Intelligence Portal. Govt move to convert Indian Villages to Digital Villages in next 5 years with 1 lakh digital villages seems to be promising as this would help us educating more and more learners in tier - 2 and tier - 3 cities. We welcome and look forward to India's startup growth where the country has become the second largest hub for startups with youth turning into job creators from job seekers."    


Anil Nagar, Founder and CEO of ADDA247

"The budget of 2019 has addressed key areas that will help the economy grow in the coming year. The main concerns of making India digital has been taken into consideration. The step towards converting Indian Villages to Digital Villages in next 5 years with 1 lakh digital villages seems to be promising as this would help us educating more and more learners in tier - 2 and tier - 3 cities. We are also positive with regards to India’s startup growth where India has become the 2nd largest hub for startups with our youth turning into job creators from seekers. It also has noticeably recognized the importance of technology in the growth of the country by announcing the development of National Artificial Intelligence Portal. To sum up The Budget as a whole is balanced with respect to each sector and aims to foster the growth of our economy again."  


Shobhit Bhatnagar, Co-Founder, Gradeup

"The budget announcement that the Government will set up a national centre for artificial intelligence to look into AI programmes is a welcome move. With this, we hope that we get the right set of people, agency, and minds to lead this initiative. A policy was much needed from the govt. around usage of data and AI, so that India can lever on its own creation of data and not just be a digital colony. India is fast becoming the largest consumer of data in the world and we are generating a lot of data while innovating new products and reaching out to new audiences. If this policy is made and executed correctly with the right system design, it will also be a great value add for consumer startups."  


Saahil Goel, CEO & Co-Founder, Shiprocket

Budget 2019 clearly recognizes the strain on the economy, particularly in the SME, MSME’s along with the technology sector. We welcome the move of Government, where they will source 25% of their requirements from SME’s along with 2% interest subvention for MSME’s loans with ticket size up to  Rs.1 crore. GST is undoubtedly the biggest taxation reform implemented since Independence and through tax consolidation, India became one single taxation market. We look forward to India becoming the second largest hub for startups with youth turning into job creators from job seekers. In terms of the technology, Government has taken a welcome step by announcing the development of a National artificial intelligence portal.


SociallyGood: Bhaskar Enaganti, Founder & MD, SociallyGood.com

The budget 2019, though interim, is very positive from a social sector perspective. The individual tax has been relaxed and the tax ceiling raised.  Indians will have more money to donate & support social causes. Vision 2030 mentions clean rivers, coastlines and health as priorities which is welcome. Incentives to support social workers in these areas by offering tax benefits for CSR targeted this area or PPP scheme will have been more impactful.  We hope the subsequent budget will have a definite proposal for tax benefits for Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi and National health protection scheme for both CSR/non-CSR companies.

Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaurs Group & VP, CREDAI National  
“The move to increase income tax slab to 5 lacs is a very positive move. This is a helpful step towards increasing disposable income for an individual. Also, a home buyer preferring to buy a home in luxury segment, will be benefited with the rollover of capital gains under section 54 of the Income Tax Act.The move will further increase investments  in luxury segment thus giving a positive push to the real estate sector.

Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO, Simplilearn
“It is heartening to see Government’s continued efforts to further the digitisation agenda aligning with the vision of creating a Digital India. While the move will help India to enable millions of jobs in the next few years, but it should also address the need of getting the current talent pool global-ready for tomorrow. This will happen through a robust skilling, reskilling and upskilling model of the current workforce by government, companies and institutes. We expected the government in today’s budget to pass on few benefits for the ed-tech and skill-tech sectors by extending tax benefits and incentives for players, corporates, education institutions or even end users by giving tax exemption. Simplilearn is committed to the cause of skilling and reskilling Indian workforce and will continue to invest and collaborate with government and public-private institutions in days to come. This step goes right in our vision to position India as a digital talent capital of the world.”

Nath Parameshwaran, Director – Corporate Affairs, PayPal India
We welcome the continued focus on the MSME sector which is a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. Government’s fintech led approach with the 59 minute loan approval process and digitization of the import- export procedures can accelerate growth of the sector.

Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group
“The Interim Budget is a very progressive budget. The government has taken some positive steps like the reduction in import duty from 15-30% to 10-15%. While, the lowered duties will promote local assembly of components, some kind of incentivization was an absolute necessity for OEM’s to invest in facilities that promote electric vehicles. I believe most of us were looking forward to the announcement of FAME II because it will give us a clear roadmap. We were hoping that the deduction of expenditure on R&D  from 150% could have been taken to at least 200% reduction to start with. The next 3 years are crucial in terms of investments and the industry will be in a transition phase due to shift to BS VI and induction of EVs in the Indian ecosystem”

Mansoor Ali, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Hamdard India 
Commenting on the Union Budget 2019, Mansoor Ali, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Hamdard India said, “Union Budget 2019 is pro-growth and fiscally prudent. Schemes such as Prime Minister Kisaan Samman Nidhi, the exemption of income tax that will create more stimulus for consumption, other sops for farmers, middle class and the introduction of pension schemes for informal sector will all help in achieving the overarching consumption story of the country. This will ultimately increase consumers disposable income with more money in their hands.  Initiatives like MGNREGA, PMGSY, focus on electrification of villages will also play a role in development of infrastructure and raise the standard of living in rural India. All in all, the measures and policies introduced in this year’s budget will ensure more income for marginal and small farmers and more money to middle class to boost FMCG consumption.”

Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director, ITC Limited
The Interim Budget proposals should augur well for the Indian economy by providing a growth impetus through a boost in consumption as well as an inclusive framework designed to benefit agri and rural communities, unorganised sector workers as well the middle class. The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi programme, the move to set up 1,00,000 digital villages and the increase in allocation to rural infrastructural development will indeed go a long way in enabling empowerment of rural communities.

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes: 
“This is the Budget for a New India. The honorable interim FM has meticulously balanced priorities of various sections of our society and delivered on his government’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. This Budget makes a strong promise to the people to India, which I hope will be backed by an equally strong delivery, especially in the areas of job creation and addressing the skill-talent gap. The announced tax breaks, together with low average inflation, are likely to spur domestic demand and spending, and inject liquidity in the market. This is great news for sectors such as hospitality and travel. The announcements on bridging the digital divide and improving efficiency through technology are also welcome. I am excited about India’s Vision 2030 and believe that it will empower more young entrepreneurs to set off on their entrepreneurial journeys.”

Ankur Pahwa, Partner and National Leader – E-Commerce and Consumer Internet, EY India
“The government continues to recognize and reiterate the fact that India is world’s second largest start-up nation along with one of the most youthful populace. The Government’s impetus on digital, innovation and the power of transformational change will naturally fuel the start-up ecosystem, which is fundamentally essential for the nation’s growth. Addressing the Angel tax issue, easing of norms for start-ups working with the government and faster deployment of the Rs 10,000 crore fund are clearly areas to focus on to further spur growth, innovation and employment and will also help start-ups reach their escape velocity.”

Shreeraj Deshpande, Principal Officer and Key Managerial Personnel, Future Generali India Insurance
“The Interim Budget was well planned and appropriately directed towards middle-class taxpayers of the nation. The small farmers will also get relief giving a boost to the agriculture sector. This budget would increase consumption by giving more disposable income for the middle class to spend. We can expect the overall economy to move ahead. The focus on Ayushman Bharat continues and overall a good budget.”

Vetri Subramaniam, Group President & Head-Equity, UTI AMC
The Budget puts an additional One lakh crore rupees in the hands of households over the next financial year. It does this by way of an income entitlement to farm households amounting to Rs75000cr and a further Rs25000cr by way of income tax breaks targeted at middle class.  This amounts to about 0.5% of GDP and is a fiscal stimulus. This builds on an assumption of strong buoyancy in GST collections. However even after this assumption there is an increase in the government borrowing program, for next year, which could pressure yields higher. As this is an interim budget we will have to watch out for the final budget which will be due after the elections. “


CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra 

“With digital and renewable energy at its core, Budget 2019 is reflective of India’s commitment to foster the growth of an inclusive, sustainable economy. It is great to see the Government’s vision align with our overall goal to promote the adoption of new age technology such as Artificial Intelligence, that will lay the foundation of a new, digitized India. The government’s decision to build 1 Lakh digital villages is a step in the right direction to bridge the urban-rural divide and as an industry, we are committed to making this vision come true - Make in India + Digital India = Modern & equitable India.”


OndrejKubik, CEO, Home Credit India Finance Pvt Ltd.

“The Finance Minister has presented a watchful and detailed sketch to perk up people’s spending power. The tax break to people under the 5 lakh salary bracket is likely to propel spending power. Digitization in India has taken a revolutionary spin in the recent past with people becoming more tech savvy. The push towards digitalization of payment and formalizing the credit market is a welcome step which will lead to more people coming under the legitimate financial system. With the government promising to set up 1 lakh digital villages in the next 5 years, it will inspire the smartphone & consumer lending sector for enhanced contribution and to be a part of this incredible growth trajectory of the nation.”


Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India

Hon. Treasurer, CREDAI NCR and Convenor of CREDAI National (Media Committee)

“The election-year budget has brought some relief to the real estate sector and we can look forward to some better times considering that our sector is one of the biggest job providers. Real estate investments will receive an impetus due to the sops promised primarily in the form of tax relief particularly in affordable housing and in terms of the extension of notional rent exemption on unsold inventory. The Budget will also help home buyers as now the rollover capital gains has been raised from one house to house for an amount of Rs 2 crores and income tax on notional rent has been exempted for the second occupied house. Rental exemption on TDS has been exempted up to Rs 2.4 lakh which is a welcome move.”


Shivam Sinha, Founder &CEO, Indiassetz Infra Services 

“Populist and buoyant in the true sense, Budget 2019 has brought great cheer for the real estate sector in terms of benefits under Sec 80(i)BA being extended for one more year, for all housing projects approved till the end of 2019-2020. Implementation of RERA and the Benami Property Act lent transparency in the real estate sector and the real estate investments will receive an impetus due to the sops promised primarily in the form of tax relief particularly in affordable housing and in terms of the extension of notional rent exemption on unsold inventory for developers. We look forward to the government’s plan of action on reducing the GST tax burden of home buyers.

The Budget will also help home buyers as now the rollover capital gains has been raised from one house to house for an amount of Rs 2 crores and income tax on notional rent has been exempted for second occupied house. Rental exemption on TDS has been exempted up to Rs. 2.4 lakh which is a welcome move. Further, the government’s commitment to build next-generation infrastructure - physical as well as social will significantly improve the Ease of Living in our country.”


Farhan Pettiwala, Executive Director & Head Development – India & South Asia, AKHAND JYOTI EYE HOSPITALS (A unit of Yugrishi Shriram Sharma Acharya Charitable Trust)

“Interim Budget 2019 is one for the masses with a special focus on the middle class and farmers. No tax for income under Rs 5 lakh per annum is an unprecedented move and major support for middle-class salaried employees. Assured income support for small and marginal farmers along with interest rate subvention will help alleviate farm distress. Meanwhile, the ambitious 'Ayushman Bharat' program will provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people, realising India’s dream of ‘healthcare for all’. There are a few other good initiatives like National Artificial Intelligence Portal, Food for all, Social Security for the Elderly including creating new AIIMS.”


Prashant Gupta, Executive Director, Sharda University

“Reflecting our Government's great commitment to harness the potential of our students/youth and empower their future, the investment of Rs 38, 572 Cr under the National Education Mission, is indeed a welcome move. The initiative of deduction in the interest on education loans will make education accessible to all. Additionally, the government’s push towards new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence will impart necessary skills and knowledge to the younger generation and will help in  preparing the workforce of future.”


Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chancellor, World University of Design

“Overall, the Interim Budget is focused on people, progress & prosperity and that will lead to the rise of a #NewIndia by 2022. Being an election focused budget, there was no big announcement for the education sector which requires a long term focus. The reduction in the interest on education loans is a good move towards ensuring education for all. At the same time, the allocation for Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) has been reduced from Rs 2,750 crore last year to Rs 2,100 crore this year. More focused announcements around skilling and higher education for youth would have made the Budget more holistic.”


Vineet Budki, CEO & Founder, Guiddoo World Travels Pvt. Ltd.

"Interim Budget 2019 has announced several steps to boost MSMEs and empower traders along with a big income tax bonanza for the middle class. We welcome Finance Minister's plans for the travel & tourism sector with special focus on air and rail travel. Plans to boost the Digital India Program, impetus for startups and focus on job creation are some of the other big positives this year."


Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst,  techARC - Technology Analysis, Research & Consulting

"The biggest news for the technology sector is setting up of National Artificial Intelligence Portal.  This will help leverage emerging technologies at a national level with India specific use cases paving way for Digital India 2.0.  We need to embed more emerging technologies like 5G, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, etc., to reorient Digital India so it propels towards achieving $1 trillion Digital Economy by 2025.

Setting up of 100,000 digital villages is also an important announcement. India will only reap the benefits of Digital revolution, when villages are mapped to it. However, the definition needs to be of a mature digital village and not just providing high-speed broadband connectivity.  The contours of Digital Village need to be specified and the infrastructure build-up enabling it needs to be ramped up fast.  We have seen time and again how the NOFN project has missed several deadlines so far.

The biggest disappointment would, of course, be for the telecom sector. From operators’ point of view, when the industry is restructuring there should have been some support helping them reduce the cumulative liability of over 550 Lakh Crore.  Similarly, even after recognizing how mobile handsets have contributed to Make in India, there was nothing announced for the industry where local brands are battling extinction."


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